NHS priorities

Whether it’s to prepare for the next Pharmacy Quality Scheme deadline, or to increase your confidence in helping people with a learning disability, this section provides topic-specific pages that link to current NHS priorities. This section will support you in keeping your knowledge and skills up to date in order to provide high-quality pharmacy services and be service-ready.

Clinical pharmacy

Our clinical portfolio is expanding on a frequent basis, helping you to advance your knowledge and skills and deliver medicines optimisation in practice for all sectors of pharmacy. From two new focal points a year to our small group learning for hospital pharmacists – Optimise – this section focuses on clinical pharmacy, diseases and therapeutics.

Public health

The public health agenda is embedded in pharmacy, yet topics such as emergency contraception or stop smoking support are as prevalent as ever. As well as our public health workshops, use this section to access a wide range of resources to assure and maintain your competence, all underpinned by the Declaration of Competence system.

Changing sector

If you want to change sector, this can seem a daunting task. Community pharmacy practice tends to have a strong focus on public health services, so our public health programmes are likely to be essential. Our Providing NHS and public health pharmacy services pathway pages are a good starting point. Reading our materials on Declaration of Competence will help you plan to demonstrate your existing skills and knowledge. This in turn will build your confidence. You will also need to make sure that you have completed your new medicine service self-declaration and undertaken your repeat dispensing learning. You may also find our self-directed e-course Preparing for community pharmacy practice useful to identify the key topics you need to learn more about when starting in community pharmacy practice.

Hospital pharmacy practice is often seen as more clinically focused, so you may find it useful to explore our Focusing on clinical pharmacy and therapeutics pathway and hospital pharmacy page. Our Optimise programmes are relevant for pharmacy professionals seeking to move to secondary care roles. We also offer a self-directed e-course Orientation to hospital pharmacy which aims to support pharmacy professionals who are starting work in hospital pharmacy practice for the first time. 

Exciting career pathways in primary care are advancing and your first essential step would be to complete the e-course, Primary care essentialswhich provides an introduction to the fundamentals of new roles for pharmacy professionals in general practice and care homes. More information about learning programmes available to pharmacists working in primary care can be found here. Our extensive portfolio of guides will help to develop your resilience to meet the challenges of working in primary care.



Programme formats explained

distance learning

Self-study programmes available as PDFs


Online assessments


Extended online programmes which are either self-directed or supported by a CPPE tutor


Self-study online interactive learning, podcasts or e-lectures


Self-study, information-based, reflective online learning

focal point

Programmes for primary care teams including community pharmacy


Programmes for hospital and primary care pharmacy teams

online workshop

Online workshops facilitated by a CPPE tutor

Optimise - workplace based

Programmes for hospital and primary care pharmacy teams


Local workshops facilitated by a CPPE tutor or some you can deliver yourself

Learning levels explained

We recognise that people have different learning needs. Some of our programmes contain core learning while others deliver more complex learning that is only required to support certain roles. We have three categories of learning (1,2,3) and have allocated each programme to an appropriate category.

Core learning. Builds on limited knowledge. Some background reading may be required.

Application of knowledge. Assumes prior learning.

Supporting specialisms. We may not be the provider and will signpost you to other learning providers.

Learning programmes from other providers which complement your learning.

National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) online training - signpost

  • Format: signpost
  • Study time: 8h:0m